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Comparing Self-Injection Teaching Strategies for Patients With Breast Cancer and Their Caregivers: A Pilot Study

Erica Fischer-Cartlidge
Sonya Romanoff
Bridgette Thom
Chasity Burrows Walters
CJON 2016, 20(5), 515-521 DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.515-521

Background: A prospective, quasiexperimental pilot study with a sequential design was performed to compare two methods of teaching self-injection: verbal and written instruction versus verbal and written instruction plus simulation.

Objectives: The study examined 50 patients with breast cancer undergoing adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment and their caregivers to determine if simulation during the teaching experience affects patient/caregiver satisfaction, worry, and self-confidence, as well as nurse satisfaction.

Methods: Structured questionnaires were administered before the teaching, immediately after the teaching, and after the injection was performed at home. Nurses who performed the teaching also completed a questionnaire after the teaching.

Findings: Use of simulation did not affect patient/caregiver satisfaction, worry, or self-confidence. The largest impact on learner worry was the actual teaching experience, regardless of the methodology used. Nurses reported greater levels of satisfaction when simulation was part of the teaching. Patient/caregiver satisfaction with the teaching experience decreased after performing the injection at home. Additional research is needed to identify the best methodology for teaching patients and caregivers self-injection. Data from this study revealed that the addition of simulation during teaching does not always translate to better education. In addition, based on patient/caregiver reports, no substitution exists for actual injection administration.

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